In October 2021, the municipality of Loures welcomed Miguel Palma’s sculpture Cemiterra-Geraterra, which has been installed in Parque Quinta dos Remédios, in Bobadela. The quinta, dating from the 18th century, still boasts an unexpected and extensive hundred-year-old olive grove with views over the river Tagus. Property of the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), with an area of around 4.3 hectares, it opened to the public as a recreational and leisure park in 2016, the result of a cooperation agreement between the IST and Loures Municipal Council.
The installation of the work in the park was planned in close dialogue with this natural and agricultural landscape that descends to the river and opens out over a panorama, embraced by the village of Bobadela. Located close to the entrance, at the highest part of the park, the large sculpture interrupts the olive grove with its sphere, a terrestrial globe made of iron, installed next to a cuboid shape, an iron and steel box which at one time was its temporary cabin.
The sculpture Cemiterra-Geraterra was presented by the artist in 1991 in a contest promoted by the Secretary of State for Culture and supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Renault. Made in the Frias shipyard, in Queluz, between November 1990 and March 1991, the artist donated the sculpture to the Foundation in 1991. It arrived inside the sealed iron and steel box – ‘coffin’ – and was immediately buried in the Gulbenkian Park, close to the Modern Art Centre.
The sculpture remained buried for nine years, until the turn of the millennium, in 2000, when it was dug up, the seal and box opened and the two elements of the work exhibited in the Gulbenkian Park until 2005. The work was presented with a book with an iron cover, by Pedro Nuno Andrade, entitled Dois Diálogos à Procura do Sentido (Two Dialogues in Search of Meaning). Like the sculpture, one of the 700 copies of the book was buried in the Gulbenkian Park.
In this work, Miguel Palma evokes the rites of passage between life and death, between inside and outside, between man and the natural world, proposing a sculpture that intersects and interrogates the notions of monument and memorial.
Cemiterra-Geraterra was later exhibited next to the Faculty of Economics at the University of Lisbon, between 2005 and 2017. For the next years it can be seen at Quinta dos Remédios in Bobadela.
CAM in Motion is an ‘outdoor’ programme that brings together a series of site-specific interventions by artists and exhibitions with works from the Collection in different spaces in the city of Lisbon and its surroundings.
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